I don’t use my crockpot enough. It sits up in my cupboard, probably laughing at me as I stand over the stove for hours every day, cooking by hand like some kind of chump. To be fair, I’m terrible at thinking of things to put in a crockpot in advance, because I’m terrible at thinking of things I want to eat in advance. I’ll say “let’s have pasta tonight!” then get home and yell “absolutely not, if we don’t have burgers I’ll cry”. That makes cooking something in a crockpot a bit of a risk, seeing as I might get home and decide I don’t want to eat that after all. I’m a real peach, and extremely easy to live with.
But none of that matters today. Today, I cook with the crockpot! Also, even though it goes against all my instincts as a midwesterner and a Monaghan, I put chicken in it instead of beef! I did put some bacon fat in there though, so I guess it’s not a total loss.
Orange Chipotle Chicken Tacos
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I don’t usually buy these, because I prefer the flavor of chicken with bones, but I REALLY didn’t feel like trimming 5 lb of chicken. It’s Sunday, for crying out loud, and I wanted to save some time for watching Dom fold the laundry. Sooooo sexy.)
1 tsp bacon fat (you can omit, if you want. =( )
1 big sweet onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced*
1 cup orange juice
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
3 tbsp honey
salt and pepper
*The problem with chipotles in adobo, you’re probably thinking, is that you have to buy a whole big can and you’re only using two, and what do you do with the rest? I’ll tell you. Lay out 5-8 pieces of plastic wrap on various kitchen surfaces. Place two chipotles onto each little piece of plastic wrap, pour a little adobo onto them, twist up the plastic wrap into little bundles. Twist them so the ends are under the peppers, kind of, then put them on a cookie sheet and stick them in the freezer. When they’re frozen solid, put the bundles into a big ziplock bag. Now, when you need a chipotle or two for a recipe, they’re ready to use in little frozen bundles. Also, the peppers being frozen makes them a LOT easier to mince. I do the same thing with leftover tomato paste, except I freeze it in a big chunk and chop off what I need as I need it.
In a crock pot on high or low heat, depending on when you want to eat it, put everything in there, with a little care to coat the chicken with the spices. Cook as long as you want, and if you’re home, move it around a few times as it cooks. If you’re not home while it cooks, stir it around when you first put it in the crockpot.
You’ll end up with a lot of liquid in there, so when you’re almost ready to eat, remove the chicken and pour the liquid/delicious chunks into a sauce pan. Shred the chicken and set aside, and boil the liquid (on medium heat) in the pan until it’s reduced by half or so. Put the shredded chicken into the sauce pan, stir around until all the chicken is coated with the delicious sauce, and serve on tortillas. I served mine with my purple cabbage and carrot slaw with creamy lime cilantro dressing.